In Memory Of Giuditta Maria Sportelli

In Memory of

Giuditta Maria Sportelli

2 November 1839, Aquaviva delle Fonti, Bari, Italy  

21 February 1908,  Grumo Appula, Bari, Italy  

Daughter of Vincenzo Sportelli and Beatrice Costantina Michele Racano

Giuditta Sportelli was my 2x great grandmother. She married Francesco Civitano on 19 February 1860. Giuditta was the mother of Vincenzo and Vito Luigi, the patriarchs of our Civitano branches here in the United States.

Her life can be remembered as nothing less than difficult and filled with heartache. One researcher records 7 infant or toddler deaths (but with no documentation) along with 3 children living to adulthood. Vito Luigi, Vincenzo, and Isabella. I have only 1 infant death with documentation at this time. Whether 7 or 1 death, Giuditta was no stranger to a hard and despairing life. Her husband Francesco, a farmer by trade, desperate to support his family or simply a man with a wild streak was convicted of stagecoach robbery and assault and sentenced to 18 years of forced hard labor in August of 1873. Six years into his sentence he died in 1879.

Both her sons set out for America leaving Grumo Appula between 1903 and 1907. Giuditta would live just one additional year after her two son’s had immigrated. Daughter Isabella had married Michele Sollecito in 1891, remained home in Grumo where she would raise her family and die.

Death Certificate - Giuditta Sportelli candleburning

May her memory be a blessing 

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